Kremlins and Clinics

Moscow Travel Blog

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Zoe at St Basils

Three eventful days in Moscow!

We stayed in the AST Hof hotel, because it was on the list of hotels we could book through Monkey Business, the company with which we'd booked our Trans-Mongolian train ticket. It was really expensive and we had a really grungy room with a dirty carpet complete with cigarette burns. We'd tried to book our own accommodation in Moscow before we set off, but in the end got fed up trying and decided to book through the tour company. Getting the accommodation vouchers together in order to apply for the Russian visa proved to be a real pain.

On day 1 we did a boat trip down the river, and then wandered around the city a bit. We ended up at Gorky Park, just before sunset.

Inside one of the Kremlin cathedrals
It was getting a bit late in the evening so things were shutting down, but it was pleasant to stroll around by the river and soak up the atmosphere. We didn't go on any of the rides.

On day 2 we headed for Red Square, and did the obligatory tour of the Kremlin, St Basil's and Lenin's mausoleum. I got a whistle blown at me in the Kremlin for stepping off the pavement! We also managed to get to Gorky park, and have a bit of a wander around. Because of Zoe's swolen ankle I did some further sight-seeing on my own. I headed to the Space Museum, where they have Yuri Gagarin's capsule, amongst other things. It looks like a giant cannonball, which rougly corresponds to how it was launched into space. Next door is a place called BDNX (VDNKh), which is a park created to celebrate Soviet life.

On the Moscow Metro
It contains a pavillion for each constituent republic in the former Soviet Union, as well as some very showy fountains, and, at the back of the park, a couple of airliners and a space rocket. The two make a really worthwhile visit for anyone intersted in Soviet history.

The other "highlight" of our time in Moscow was a trip to the American Medical Center, to get Zoe's infected ankle sorted out. We encountered a doctor who couldn't spell in Russian, and a pharmacist who corrected the doctor's spelling, but didn't understand drug dosages! We also got an initial prescription for an antibiotic which no-one had in stock. After much to-ing and fro-ing we finally got hold of some antibiotics, antibiotic cream and extra large dressings. Fortunately over the next few days it all did the trick, and the swelling gradually receded.

Highlights of places to eat in Moscow included an Indian restaurant called Kajuraho, a Bulgarian restaurant called Mekhani Bansko, and a Russian canteen-style restaurant called Moo Moo, which had a rough cow theme.

Our final day in Moscow was spent hiding from extremely heavy rain in an Internet cafe. We didn't realise at the time that we wouldn't see rain again until February, in Sri Lanka. That is quite odd when you've spent your whole like in Britain!

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Zoe at St Basils
Zoe at St Basils
Inside one of the Kremlin cathedra…
Inside one of the Kremlin cathedr…
On the Moscow Metro
On the Moscow Metro
VDNKh
VDNKh
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photo by: eefab